By Jenny Park
Our elders deserve love and respect during the golden years of their lives. When an individual reaches the point where common, everyday tasks are difficult or even hazardous, a nursing home is usually the solution. Nursing homes provide 24-hour care and supervision, but they can also speed age related decline dramatically. Yoga is needed in nursing homes to counteract this trend.
Most people fail to realize just how important the mundane, typical activities we do on a daily basis are. Even the most simple of household chores provides basic exercise that is essential for maintaining mobility and strength. Doing the laundry or standing for a prolonged period of time in the kitchen preparing a meal isn’t enough to stave off obesity, but it does help the body to maintain basic muscle mass. Taking away the need to move on a daily basis equals swift physical decline for anyone, but it’s especially rapid in seniors due to underlying age related muscle degeneration.
Offering daily yoga classes in nursing homes fills this physical void in a safe and effective manner. Seniors are able to maintain mobility, flexibility, and muscle mass in a controlled setting that eliminates the possibility of injury. Yoga can be modified to suit a wide variety of physical conditions, making it the exercise of choice for nursing homes.
Another beneficial aspect of yoga in nursing homes is the feeling of community it inspires. One of the primary ways that human beings bond with each other is through shared struggles and experiences. People from all different walks of life make up the population of a typical nursing home, and it can be difficult to create meaningful, lasting relationships in this setting. Participating in a yoga class with other residents of the nursing home provides common ground and a common goal, with the encouragement that only a group setting can provide. Studies have shown that individuals tend to be happier when they experience a sense of belonging in their lives, so strengthening the social bonds within the nursing home will provide lasting benefits for everyone involved.
Yoga addresses the needs of those who live in nursing homes in a simple and efficient manner. By offering yoga in nursing homes can improve the overall quality of life for their patients.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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